1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Oosterdam
I'm going to attempt to give a comprehensive review providing the details I was not able to find before our cruise. We sailed on the Oosterdam from July 17- July 24. We booked our cruise three weeks before sailing, and got a great deal. We were supposed to have an HH stateroom (lifeboat obstructed view) but pleaded with our travel agent to see if we could change. The ship was full, no such luck... until 2 days before sailing- she got us a verandah room! (I saw no benefit to a travel agent until this point, at which I was VERY happy! I firmly believe w/o this connection we would not have been upgraded) Seattle/Embarkation: We stayed in Seattle for 2 nights prior to the cruise at the Sheraton Seattle-very nice hotel. If you stay in Seattle on either end of your cruise, do NOT take the 'Downtown Airporter' shuttle. It advertises as $10 less than a taxi ride. (The Link is a deal at $2.50 but we arrived at 11:30 pm and had to walk downtown w/luggage- no thanks.) We waited for an HOUR before boarding our shuttle, our driver got lost (!) and thankfully I had a map, we directed him ourselves! For $10 more, the taxi would have been much better. (I called and got a full refund) We loved downtown, highly recommend the Duck Tour, Underground Tour, visit to the Pike Place Market. The Seattle Aquarium was way too crowded on a Saturday- very nice place but go on a weekday if possible. You can bring fruit on board; we bough fresh fruit at the market and put it in our stateroom minibar fridge. We arrived around 1:45 to embark, it was crowded but orderly. I think cruise info says you can arrive at 1, but we later learned you can come as early as 11. I doubt you can access your room that early, but you can have meals and tour the ship (many organized tours of places you'd otherwise not see behind the scenes if that interests you). They deliver the baggage to your room for you so arriving early wouldn't be a hassle, just keep the things with you that you might need. We took a taxi there (not sure of the price) but the convenience was worth it- dropped off right at the terminal. Don't take the bus there, it is a very long walk.Stateroom: No complaints. Here's a tip- we were port-side. I think this is the better side for this trip. We faced the port town in each call except Seattle (no big deal there.) We were on the side that lingered longer at the glaciers and faced them on the way in (on the way back, it is dinner time so you could just sit at the restaurant on the best side). Yes, the captain turns the boat around, but he spent nearly the entire time port side, maybe only 20 minutes starboard side before leaving Marjorie Glacier. For this reason alone, I would also recommend upgrading to a balcony room. The weather was gorgeous and we sat on our balcony the entire time at Glacier Bay. On the way back to Seattle, we faced the coast. Our particular room was right by the elevators. Our steward was wonderful, though we only met him once- our room always looked great. We are folks who like to sleep in, and if we placed the 'service please' sign outside our room, it was cleaned RIGHT away. There was wear and tear in the room but I'll address that later.Open or Assigned Seating: Unbeknownst to us, we were signed up for an assigned seat and time for dinner. At first we were upset, as we received a table by ourselves and looked forward to meeting people. But I have changed my tune and here is why: the lower level of Vista is open seating, and is available for all three meals. The upper level is only available at dinner and is assigned seating. We ate lunch in the lower level one time. The waiters down there had much poorer English and seemed confused by our ordering. That never happened, ever, upstairs. My theory is this: the best waiters are upstairs b/c they see the same people each day and develop a deeper relationship w/passengers. Our steward, Ajibon, was so great, as were the others that assisted him. The head waiter checked on us nightly. You have a better view of the mid-area platform for the crew night of dancing and singing. We had the 7:45 time and it was great. We sometimes arrived late, and they accommodated us, but they close the doors upstairs at 8, so you know. We would just walk right up to our table, with no hassle, each night.Dining/Food: I don't know what people are talking about when they complain about the food on this ship. I am a foodie, and I was so pleased. The only meal I was not very pleased with was the salmon on the first night; it was good, just nothing spectacular-I just think it is that dish's preparation. We had it all: salmon, lobster, crab, veal, lamb, beef, chicken, duck, (among many other options we did not choose.) So good! Every night I chose the chilled soup (various kinds) as part of my meal- delicious! The lamb, particularly, was wonderful. Each dish was presented nicely. We ate in the dining room every night except once in Pinnacle Grill. Pinnacle is totally worth the money, we loved it. It felt like a date night in the middle of an already relaxing vacation. I would advise dressing very nicely, as it seemed a totally different clientele in this restaurant- I suspect some people choose to dine here nightly just for the classy ambiance. I had no problems with food served cold or improperly heated plates, as mentioned in other reviews. We hardly ate in the Lido room. Their breakfast has many options, which were good. We had lunch in there a few times, always pizza; also good. We never tried Canaletto because I was so happy with our steward and the food at Vista. On room service: we utilized room service breakfast every day but 2. They were very good about delivering it on time. If I left a note about a tight time for a shore excursion, or to include something not on the breakfast menu, they accommodated us. We ordered room service the night before we sailed into Victoria. We were packing and I envisioned chaos in the dining rooms as everyone perhaps wanted to eat before leaving for Victoria. Not sure if that happened, but it was so nice to have dinner in our room and calmly pack before our last shore excursion. I also recommend breakfast in the room the day of disembarkation. No hectic lines for me.Bars/Beverages: The drinks on the ship are neither under- or over-priced. But boy, are they good! I loved trying the cocktails, and they were made to perfection. We loved the Ocean bar, it was mellow, never crowded, and had great seats- not too flashy, as some bars on the ship can be. One tip, though I don't know why- when we had drinks at the Ocean bar, we had appetizers brought to us as well- and they were good! Spanikopita, mixed nuts, and several other delicious items. I came to expect this, but in other bars, it did not happen. ?? Perhaps it is the time of day? We did not ever make it to happy hour- from 4-5 daily- because we were always napping then!! :) But we would go early for a drink before dinner, and loved this daily ritual. If you are a coffee person, the prices on the ship are great compared to any place on land- between $1-3. We did drink the soda in our room fridge, and it was never restocked- though if I had asked, I am sure it would have been.Entertainment: Okay, lots of people have complained about the singers/dancers. Yes, do not expect top-of-the-line shows. But, we went every night except the comedian. The poor singers and dancers are constricted by cheesy synthesizer tracks and overdone costumes and wigs. I am sure they are more talented than the shows allow. The singers were pretty good, but they had big cheese factor- esp. the main girl and her solo ballads. That said, if you are going to attend one of their three performances, go to 'Garage Band', midweek. It was way better than the other ones! I am sure many don't see it, as they assess earlier in the week that it isn't so great. But it was lively, well done, and fit generationally better w/the ages of the performers while retaining mass appeal. Less cheesy, more captivating. The magician was good, but not as good as people have raved. He was VERY funny though- I enjoyed the laughs more than the tricks. The Indonesian crew show on the last full day is very endearing but a little rough around the edges. By that time, though, you love the staff so much it's okay. But you could miss the show without missing much. Meanwhile, the musicians performing around the ship are very, very talented. In that regard, the entertainment exceeded my expectations.Ship condition: Many people talk about how worn the ship appears. It's not so bad in most places. But I do have a comment for any HAL employees who might read these reviews. It is perfectly understandable to have wear and tear on permanently fixed items such as bathroom floors, tables, walls, etc. However, the wear and tear that was very visible on easily replaceable items was unacceptable: fraying bath robes, stained shower curtains, worn menus, faded chair cushions on balconies and decks... these items should be kept updated, as these little things communicate the quality of the entire ship, and are visibly worn out. But, it really did not affect the overall experience. Many places had no wear at all. People who get so upset about these things are not looking outside enough- such beauty, or are noticing the incredible service. The quality of service more than makes up for the wear, and the ship heads to dry dock in 3 months.Glacier Bay: Wow. I am amazed. What a day. Bring your binoculars!Ports of Call/Shore excursions: I was never let down with the HAL excursions we booked! I am including port information in the port review section.Weather: We lucked out and had sunny weather every day but in Ketchikan and our day at sea. I would pack the gamut as I needed every article of clothing. There are fleece blankets in your room and I hear, blankets provided outside. We used these outside at Glacier Bay. Just in that one day, we went from all hats/gloves/sweaters/coats/blankets to my husband sitting in shorts with his shirt off! The sun makes a HUGE difference. Even when you go out in the ports, pack a few things to take on/off. You'll need it. We didn't have a problem with mosquitos but better to be safe than sorry.Photo package: It is pricey- $199 for 5 sheets (five of each: 8x10, 5x7, ten wallets each) and digital files. I say, pose for the many pictures they offer and then see what you get. We got outstanding photos and bought the package just because we are not often happy with formal pictures (me especially) But, if HAL fully digitized their photos so that they are not printing them all- and throwing MANY away at the end of the cruise, the cost would go way down, the labor would go way down, and it would be a much 'greener' endeavor. It's crazy to think just of our own photos that we did not take- easily about 30. Multiply the entire ship- what a waste of paper and ink, HAL. And of course that cost is passed onto us with such a hefty photo package price.Spa: We did not partake but I would do the thermal room/whirlpool option next time around. It is $199 per couple for the entire cruise- about $14 per person per day. It is a blissful adults only retreat. The Lido pool is enclosed and DOMINATED by children- don't imagine you'll get in the hot tub unless it is a really odd hour. The Aft pool is exposed and I don't know if anyone went there in Alaska. The spa package guarantees that you can have that hot tub blissful experience whenever you want- 8am-10pm. I really wanted it but then my husband bought me jewelry in Juneau, so there you have it! :) Maybe next time. Disembarkation: You are given a 15 min. window to disembark. It was so easy- we were completely done in 20 min. The crowds in the terminal are crazy, but move quickly. We had a prepaid transfer, and it was super duper easy. We walked out of the terminal, told a HAL employee which airline we were flying, and we walked to the corresponding coach. A pleasant surprise: commentary from the bus driver/tour guide the whole way to the airport. The quick boarding and commentary made it more than worth the price, which I think is less expensive than a taxi ride. Very seamless and highly recommended.Why HAL?: I've never cruised before, so I can't really remark. But we never had to wait in lines deeper than a few people, with the exception of getting on and off the ship in ports of call- no surprise. There were open seats everywhere. We never had to wait to be seated in any restaurant. We received service every time we asked for it. We were kept well informed. The food was wonderful. The ports did not disappoint. The excursions were outstanding. Once the Oosterdam is refurbished, nothing will detract.On a much sadder sidenote: A cruise passenger went missing on our cruise, between Sitka and Ketchikan. A 20-year-old, Blake Kepley, was traveling with extended family for a matriarch's 80th birthday (or something like that) and disappeared in the early morning hours. We were kept abreast of the situation with periodic updates from the captain. Sadly, I do not think this situation has a happy ending- as of writing this review, the Coast Guard has called off the search and he has not been found. But- we were able to witness the security procedures of the ship- we saw many employees conducting the search on board, and we also were well-informed by the staff. Many on board were talking about it, and the overall tone was one of worry. The ship did a good job maintaining 'business as usual' while appearing very respectful and concerned for the family. We are not privy to further details, and cannot comment on the overall responsiveness as info was rightfully kept minimal. But, with what we did observe, they seemed very responsive and respectful.

Very detailed review and tips you might want to know

Oosterdam Cruise Review by coteacher

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2011
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
I'm going to attempt to give a comprehensive review providing the details I was not able to find before our cruise. We sailed on the Oosterdam from July 17- July 24. We booked our cruise three weeks before sailing, and got a great deal. We were supposed to have an HH stateroom (lifeboat obstructed view) but pleaded with our travel agent to see if we could change. The ship was full, no such luck... until 2 days before sailing- she got us a verandah room! (I saw no benefit to a travel agent until this point, at which I was VERY happy! I firmly believe w/o this connection we would not have been upgraded) Seattle/Embarkation: We stayed in Seattle for 2 nights prior to the cruise at the Sheraton Seattle-very nice hotel. If you stay in Seattle on either end of your cruise, do NOT take the 'Downtown Airporter' shuttle. It advertises as $10 less than a taxi ride. (The Link is a deal at $2.50 but we arrived at 11:30 pm and had to walk downtown w/luggage- no thanks.) We waited for an HOUR before boarding our shuttle, our driver got lost (!) and thankfully I had a map, we directed him ourselves! For $10 more, the taxi would have been much better. (I called and got a full refund) We loved downtown, highly recommend the Duck Tour, Underground Tour, visit to the Pike Place Market. The Seattle Aquarium was way too crowded on a Saturday- very nice place but go on a weekday if possible. You can bring fruit on board; we bough fresh fruit at the market and put it in our stateroom minibar fridge. We arrived around 1:45 to embark, it was crowded but orderly. I think cruise info says you can arrive at 1, but we later learned you can come as early as 11. I doubt you can access your room that early, but you can have meals and tour the ship (many organized tours of places you'd otherwise not see behind the scenes if that interests you). They deliver the baggage to your room for you so arriving early wouldn't be a hassle, just keep the things with you that you might need. We took a taxi there (not sure of the price) but the convenience was worth it- dropped off right at the terminal. Don't take the bus there, it is a very long walk.Stateroom: No complaints. Here's a tip- we were port-side. I think this is the better side for this trip. We faced the port town in each call except Seattle (no big deal there.) We were on the side that lingered longer at the glaciers and faced them on the way in (on the way back, it is dinner time so you could just sit at the restaurant on the best side). Yes, the captain turns the boat around, but he spent nearly the entire time port side, maybe only 20 minutes starboard side before leaving Marjorie Glacier. For this reason alone, I would also recommend upgrading to a balcony room. The weather was gorgeous and we sat on our balcony the entire time at Glacier Bay. On the way back to Seattle, we faced the coast. Our particular room was right by the elevators. Our steward was wonderful, though we only met him once- our room always looked great. We are folks who like to sleep in, and if we placed the 'service please' sign outside our room, it was cleaned RIGHT away. There was wear and tear in the room but I'll address that later.Open or Assigned Seating: Unbeknownst to us, we were signed up for an assigned seat and time for dinner. At first we were upset, as we received a table by ourselves and looked forward to meeting people. But I have changed my tune and here is why: the lower level of Vista is open seating, and is available for all three meals. The upper level is only available at dinner and is assigned seating. We ate lunch in the lower level one time. The waiters down there had much poorer English and seemed confused by our ordering. That never happened, ever, upstairs. My theory is this: the best waiters are upstairs b/c they see the same people each day and develop a deeper relationship w/passengers. Our steward, Ajibon, was so great, as were the others that assisted him. The head waiter checked on us nightly. You have a better view of the mid-area platform for the crew night of dancing and singing. We had the 7:45 time and it was great. We sometimes arrived late, and they accommodated us, but they close the doors upstairs at 8, so you know. We would just walk right up to our table, with no hassle, each night.Dining/Food: I don't know what people are talking about when they complain about the food on this ship. I am a foodie, and I was so pleased. The only meal I was not very pleased with was the salmon on the first night; it was good, just nothing spectacular-I just think it is that dish's preparation. We had it all: salmon, lobster, crab, veal, lamb, beef, chicken, duck, (among many other options we did not choose.) So good! Every night I chose the chilled soup (various kinds) as part of my meal- delicious! The lamb, particularly, was wonderful. Each dish was presented nicely. We ate in the dining room every night except once in Pinnacle Grill. Pinnacle is totally worth the money, we loved it. It felt like a date night in the middle of an already relaxing vacation. I would advise dressing very nicely, as it seemed a totally different clientele in this restaurant- I suspect some people choose to dine here nightly just for the classy ambiance. I had no problems with food served cold or improperly heated plates, as mentioned in other reviews. We hardly ate in the Lido room. Their breakfast has many options, which were good. We had lunch in there a few times, always pizza; also good. We never tried Canaletto because I was so happy with our steward and the food at Vista. On room service: we utilized room service breakfast every day but 2. They were very good about delivering it on time. If I left a note about a tight time for a shore excursion, or to include something not on the breakfast menu, they accommodated us. We ordered room service the night before we sailed into Victoria. We were packing and I envisioned chaos in the dining rooms as everyone perhaps wanted to eat before leaving for Victoria. Not sure if that happened, but it was so nice to have dinner in our room and calmly pack before our last shore excursion. I also recommend breakfast in the room the day of disembarkation. No hectic lines for me.Bars/Beverages: The drinks on the ship are neither under- or over-priced. But boy, are they good! I loved trying the cocktails, and they were made to perfection. We loved the Ocean bar, it was mellow, never crowded, and had great seats- not too flashy, as some bars on the ship can be. One tip, though I don't know why- when we had drinks at the Ocean bar, we had appetizers brought to us as well- and they were good! Spanikopita, mixed nuts, and several other delicious items. I came to expect this, but in other bars, it did not happen. ?? Perhaps it is the time of day? We did not ever make it to happy hour- from 4-5 daily- because we were always napping then!! :) But we would go early for a drink before dinner, and loved this daily ritual. If you are a coffee person, the prices on the ship are great compared to any place on land- between $1-3. We did drink the soda in our room fridge, and it was never restocked- though if I had asked, I am sure it would have been.Entertainment: Okay, lots of people have complained about the singers/dancers. Yes, do not expect top-of-the-line shows. But, we went every night except the comedian. The poor singers and dancers are constricted by cheesy synthesizer tracks and overdone costumes and wigs. I am sure they are more talented than the shows allow. The singers were pretty good, but they had big cheese factor- esp. the main girl and her solo ballads. That said, if you are going to attend one of their three performances, go to 'Garage Band', midweek. It was way better than the other ones! I am sure many don't see it, as they assess earlier in the week that it isn't so great. But it was lively, well done, and fit generationally better w/the ages of the performers while retaining mass appeal. Less cheesy, more captivating. The magician was good, but not as good as people have raved. He was VERY funny though- I enjoyed the laughs more than the tricks. The Indonesian crew show on the last full day is very endearing but a little rough around the edges. By that time, though, you love the staff so much it's okay. But you could miss the show without missing much. Meanwhile, the musicians performing around the ship are very, very talented. In that regard, the entertainment exceeded my expectations.Ship condition: Many people talk about how worn the ship appears. It's not so bad in most places. But I do have a comment for any HAL employees who might read these reviews. It is perfectly understandable to have wear and tear on permanently fixed items such as bathroom floors, tables, walls, etc. However, the wear and tear that was very visible on easily replaceable items was unacceptable: fraying bath robes, stained shower curtains, worn menus, faded chair cushions on balconies and decks... these items should be kept updated, as these little things communicate the quality of the entire ship, and are visibly worn out. But, it really did not affect the overall experience. Many places had no wear at all. People who get so upset about these things are not looking outside enough- such beauty, or are noticing the incredible service. The quality of service more than makes up for the wear, and the ship heads to dry dock in 3 months.Glacier Bay: Wow. I am amazed. What a day. Bring your binoculars!Ports of Call/Shore excursions: I was never let down with the HAL excursions we booked! I am including port information in the port review section.Weather: We lucked out and had sunny weather every day but in Ketchikan and our day at sea. I would pack the gamut as I needed every article of clothing. There are fleece blankets in your room and I hear, blankets provided outside. We used these outside at Glacier Bay. Just in that one day, we went from all hats/gloves/sweaters/coats/blankets to my husband sitting in shorts with his shirt off! The sun makes a HUGE difference. Even when you go out in the ports, pack a few things to take on/off. You'll need it. We didn't have a problem with mosquitos but better to be safe than sorry.Photo package: It is pricey- $199 for 5 sheets (five of each: 8x10, 5x7, ten wallets each) and digital files. I say, pose for the many pictures they offer and then see what you get. We got outstanding photos and bought the package just because we are not often happy with formal pictures (me especially) But, if HAL fully digitized their photos so that they are not printing them all- and throwing MANY away at the end of the cruise, the cost would go way down, the labor would go way down, and it would be a much 'greener' endeavor. It's crazy to think just of our own photos that we did not take- easily about 30. Multiply the entire ship- what a waste of paper and ink, HAL. And of course that cost is passed onto us with such a hefty photo package price.Spa: We did not partake but I would do the thermal room/whirlpool option next time around. It is $199 per couple for the entire cruise- about $14 per person per day. It is a blissful adults only retreat. The Lido pool is enclosed and DOMINATED by children- don't imagine you'll get in the hot tub unless it is a really odd hour. The Aft pool is exposed and I don't know if anyone went there in Alaska. The spa package guarantees that you can have that hot tub blissful experience whenever you want- 8am-10pm. I really wanted it but then my husband bought me jewelry in Juneau, so there you have it! :) Maybe next time. Disembarkation: You are given a 15 min. window to disembark. It was so easy- we were completely done in 20 min. The crowds in the terminal are crazy, but move quickly. We had a prepaid transfer, and it was super duper easy. We walked out of the terminal, told a HAL employee which airline we were flying, and we walked to the corresponding coach. A pleasant surprise: commentary from the bus driver/tour guide the whole way to the airport. The quick boarding and commentary made it more than worth the price, which I think is less expensive than a taxi ride. Very seamless and highly recommended.Why HAL?: I've never cruised before, so I can't really remark. But we never had to wait in lines deeper than a few people, with the exception of getting on and off the ship in ports of call- no surprise. There were open seats everywhere. We never had to wait to be seated in any restaurant. We received service every time we asked for it. We were kept well informed. The food was wonderful. The ports did not disappoint. The excursions were outstanding. Once the Oosterdam is refurbished, nothing will detract.On a much sadder sidenote: A cruise passenger went missing on our cruise, between Sitka and Ketchikan. A 20-year-old, Blake Kepley, was traveling with extended family for a matriarch's 80th birthday (or something like that) and disappeared in the early morning hours. We were kept abreast of the situation with periodic updates from the captain. Sadly, I do not think this situation has a happy ending- as of writing this review, the Coast Guard has called off the search and he has not been found. But- we were able to witness the security procedures of the ship- we saw many employees conducting the search on board, and we also were well-informed by the staff. Many on board were talking about it, and the overall tone was one of worry. The ship did a good job maintaining 'business as usual' while appearing very respectful and concerned for the family. We are not privy to further details, and cannot comment on the overall responsiveness as info was rightfully kept minimal. But, with what we did observe, they seemed very responsive and respectful.
coteacher’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Rates
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Holland America Oosterdam price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VD 4134
Room 4134: ample space, lower level so less rocking, silent hallway, right by the elevators/stairs. The exterior side door on one side of the balcony squeaks in the wind but can be quieted with a hand towel while you're out there, and you can't hear it inside the room. Big balcony, good storage- look for the drawers under the bed!
Rotterdam Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Juneau
    In Juneau, we bought tickets for the 'Best of Juneau' and the Mt Rogers tram. The Best of Juneau was so worth it! We had a great bus driver who provided commentary the entire time. We got on a bad trail at Mendenhall but that's no one's fault but our own- go to the visitor center instead. The whale watching tour was AMAZING. We saw all kinds of whales- bubble netting, a calf breeching, whales escorting a mother and calf, along with harbor seals and bald eagles. The salmon lunch was very good but in a lodge-y dining hall that lacked atmosphere. I wanted the real deal. Perhaps the better choice would be to book the whale watching trip alone and then go to the Gold Creek salmon bake? But we were not disappointed at all and the value was extremely good. The tram trip is pretty but we didn't stay up there for long. They say there is a lot up there, but it is a tourist shop, a 'nature center' (another shop), an eagle in a cage, a restaurant, and a theater. Only go up on it if the view matters that much to you and/or you intend to go hiking/walking- if so, the trail up there is beautiful. The heart of Juneau is very touristy, but we enjoyed walking around. Don't JUST do that, book an excursion in Juneau. You have plenty of time and the beauty outside the town is unparalleled.
    View All 1,552 Juneau Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Juneau Cruise Port Review
  • Sitka
    We did not book an excursion in Sitka, and we were fine. But, you do have to wait for a tender boat. If you want all the time you can get, book an excursion just to get on a boat sooner. We boarded a tender around 11, after waiting for about 25 min. (You get a numbered ticket for a boat and go when your number is called). It was faster than I thought. If you're a walker, you can walk everywhere- we did. All the way to the Raptor Center, which is great. We also did the Sitka National Historic Park, which is free and very interesting. We saw the Russian cathedral, it was okay- a $5 'donation' per person is mandatory. (??) We ate lunch at the Larkspur cafe, it was so good and relaxing. We did take a shuttle back from the Raptor Center, and the driver recommended Two Chicks and a Stick for lunch as well. This town is very beautiful and charming. No more time is needed there than you receive for the call.
    View All 339 Sitka Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Sitka Cruise Port Review
  • Victoria
    Victoria: Major bummer and then amazing recovery. We did not get off the ship until 8!!! People, they say 6:45, but I have read one review after another stating a late arrival in Victoria, so just save yourself the tension and expect this time instead. We booked the Butchart Gardens tour, because I love it there and wanted my husband to see it. The daylight minutes tick away as you wait on the ship. Arg!! Word of caution: if you book a Victoria tour, they send you to the Vista Lounge to get off earlier and in a different spot than the non-excursion passengers. Get there early and be prepared to wait! They seat you in a particular manner and dismiss you in the same fashion, so you'll be off the boat and on a bus first. Everyone complains- it is so awful! If only we weren't around people getting so grumbly, it wouldn't be so bad. That said, we got on our bus and our tour guide gave us a great driving tour of Victoria on the way to and from the Gardens- that's not mentioned in the shore excursion description, and it made being late much better. The Gardens were magnificent, and because we arrived late, the captain allowed us to stay later. That meant we could stay for the firework show- only on Saturdays! People, note that you normally have to leave during the fireworks- how awful! They don't tell you that in the description. I HIGHLY recommend this excursion, the fireworks were a great culmination of a wonderful trip. But do NOT go if fireworks are not offered (i.e., not Saturday). Otherwise, it's a dark tour of well lit gardens, and I think a city tour would be better. Our bus driver took us back through the main downtown area- we got a great feel for the city. You think you are in the heart of things but the cruise is NOT downtown. It is an easy drive but be prepared to do something- taxi, tour, etc, or you will find yourself off the boat in a neighborhood.
    View All 1,318 Victoria Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Victoria Cruise Port Review